This past spring, young Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker promised to donate $2.5 million to local Phoenix charities during the life of his $158 million contract in increments of $500,000 per year.
Booker has always supported the Phoenix community and had great respect for the fanbase. Now he pledges to give away a large chunk of his money to help make the community a better place.
Just last week, he surprised five organizations with $100,000 each to continue and enhance their work in the community.
We spend a lot of time on this and other websites arguing over the merits of each player on the court for our favorite team, and very little time enjoying the off-court efforts they make. Recently Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre Jr. raised a lot of money for hurricane relief in the Bahamas, and over the years managing partner Robert Sarver has given millions to the community without much fanfare or credit. As well, the players consistently give their time to fans in various ways to connect with Arizonans.
But none of the players has pledged as much as Booker.
Catch the surprise donations here.
The 2019 recipients of the “Devin Booker Starting Five” grants:
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
The grant will help them expand their inclusive preschool model to a third location. The inclusive preschool serves up to 80 students where children with and without autism can learn together, building an inclusive and supportive environment for all children.
Their sports and fitness facility was built with the purpose and intention to serve people with disabilities. The grant will help them renovate their basketball court floors and upgrade other areas of the gym, so they can continue to host tournaments for wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair lacrosse, power soccer and other youth programs in that space.
The grant will support a new 15,000 square-foot state office and distribution center benefiting 25,000 athletes and unified partners. The new facility is an accepting space that provides technology and services so that anyone of any age or ability will have the resources to advocate for themselves and their community.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Arizona
The grant will help with cancer treatment and support affected families with out-of-pocket expenses. The organization also educates, inspires and leads 400,000 K-12 students in 600 schools across Arizona each year through their “Pennies for Patients Hero Squad” program helping to raise money for the fight against blood cancer.
The grant will help support the largest provider of services to the homeless (individuals, families and children) in Arizona. Their 130-unit shelter on a seven-acre campus helps provide families with basic necessities and opportunities to prevent and end homelessness through job training and additional support programming.